Chelsea Hart
I tried stitching time to my veins, to stop the world from turning,
To keep you from burning into the ashes of memory
But the words you needed were wet paper on my tongue
And I’m older now than I was then
How ugly it is to know one’s self inside/outside/inside
There is only black behind my teeth,
Intentions stain my fingers, soak through the sheets of this unfolded
desire And everything these hands can ever do will only ever be the sum
Of the things they have never done—will never do
This bloody thing, this withered heart convulsing in the chest
Of every smiling person
Half-eaten by that toothed hunger of need
Where does the paper mask end—the skin and bones, the aching flesh
begin My tongue is seared
With the promises I never should have made—never meant
Words spit into the dark will follow me always
Like string tied to my backwards ribs
When will these lungs, broken from the box,
Learn how to take in air the way they were meant
When will the gas spill of my soul
Find the spark that will consume it—violent, beautiful, finally worth-
while When will these hours spent collecting the ashes, smearing them on
my skin